What Is Capstone Design?

Capstone Design is a culminating course offered to undergraduate students in several disciplines at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Students work in teams to design, build, and test prototypes with real world applications. At the end of each semester students showcase their efforts at the “Capstone Design Expo”.

The Capstone Design course provides students the opportunity to work with real-world, open-ended, interdisciplinary challenges proposed by industrial and research project sponsors. They learn and apply the engineering design process: defining functional requirements, conceptualization, analysis, identifying risks and countermeasures, selection, and physical prototyping.

Student teams buy and fabricate hardware to create working, physical prototypes to see their ideas and calculations in action. By working in teams they develop leadership skills and group dynamics; dealing with scheduling conflicts, meeting weekly deliverables and deadlines; and communication among team members, project sponsors, and course instructors.

Teams attend lectures given by experts from Industry and Academia on topics including patenting, industrial design, manufacturing, market research and marketing, business funding, structure, governances, and ethics.
At the end of the semester, student teams display and pitch their inventions and marketability to a panel of judges, invited guest, media, and their peers, while competing for cash prizes. This is an excellent opportunity for sponsor’s to see how their project was conceptualized by the teams at the expo.